In 2019, we published three incident information releases about workers who died after being crushed by a truck.


This safety alert reminds you that if you don’t effectively immobilise your heavy vehicle or trailer, you put yourself at risk of serious injury or death.


Every year, we investigate many incidents involving workers being crushed when appropriate control measures were not implemented to effectively immobilise their vehicle.

Heavy vehicles and trailers can be immobilised by:

  • parking the vehicle on level ground
  • applying the handbrake properly before getting out of your vehicle
  • knowing how to use safety features, such as handbrake warning systems
  • using wheel chocks
  • getting adequate training and supervision.

Key considerations

Your vehicle may be subject to uncontrolled movement when you:

  • do repairs on the vehicle, including roadside repairs
  • load and unload your vehicle
  • couple and uncouple your truck and trailer
  • park on an incline or uneven surface

Actions required

  • Switch off your vehicle and apply the brakes before getting out.
  • Get training on how to immobilise your vehicle.
  • Install a handbrake warning system that alerts you if you forgot to apply the handbrake.
  • Know what to do when your vehicle breaks down; learn traffic management protocols.
  • Use a suitable jack, hydraulic hoist or vehicle pit when lifting your vehicle.
  • Inspect and maintain your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Know how to couple and uncouple your trailer safely.

Before starting work, identify the hazards and assess the risks.

Further information

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